Sony VPL-VW95ES 3D SXRD Projector HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 21,000:1

All of the measurements were taken with the projector in the Cinema 1 preset with the lamp in high mode. The Gamma Correction preset was selected as Off. All of the calibration was done with the Advanced Iris control in Off, but the contrast ratio measurements were done in a variety of different modes for the iris as noted. The lamp had 20 hours on it during the calibration. All viewing and measurements were done on a 120-inch diagonal Stewart Studiotek 130 screen (1.3 gain).

The full on/off contrast was measured with a Minolta T-10 meter from 9 inches away from the lens face. I tested various configurations in both high and low lamp mode with the iris in both its auto and manual mode. The highest contrast ratio was obtained with the projector in high lamp mode with the dynamic iris in Auto 1. The highest contrast ratio achieved with the dynamic iris in Auto 2 was 19,500:1 in high lamp mode. With the iris in manual mode and closed all the way down (high contrast/low light output), the peak contrast was 6,500:1 in high lamp mode.

As with any dynamic iris system, overall contrast performance would vary considerably as the average picture level changed. Peak black performance was always with a full black out, but black levels were respectable with mixed material.

The RGB tables were captured from our calibration workflow in Calman Version 4.4. As you can see from the results, with the projector in the Low 1 preset for color temperature, the out-of-box RGB tracking was respectable with no IRE exceeding 4 Delta E (Delta E is a figure of merit that indicates how closely the result is to the ideal white point of D65. Below 3 is generally considered visibly indistinguishable from a perfect result) with an overall average of 2.5 Delta E. That is remarkable out-of-box performance. Using the Custom 3 color temperature preset (uses the Low 1 as a starting point) I was able to get all of the IRE points to less than 3 with an overall average of 1.4 Delta E.

With the color space set to Standard in the user menus, the color gamut adhered very well to the BT.709 (Rec. 709) HD color gamut. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a projector adhere this close without a professional calibration. The overall Delta average was a mere 1.3 Delta E. The green measurement showed a bit of a hue shift toward blue, and yellow also showed a similar hue shift toward green, but the highest Delta E measured for any one color was 1.6 (yellow), indicating a measurement lower than the human eye can perceive.

Gamma tracking with the preset gamma set to Off averaged a 2.28 gamma curve. There is no reference gamma curve since gamma is a function of the brightness of white at each IRE compared with 100 IRE. What curve you should use depends on the room you’re viewing in and the contrast capabilities of your projector.—KRD


Ducksoup_SD's picture

Several class action suits were raised against Sony for their SXRD projection televisions from the mid-2000's. As someone who is now on their 4th optical engine (under warranty, and turned down a 5th as part of one of the suits), I can attest that Sony was challenged by this new technology.

In their release documents, did Sony address the color shift problems of the SXRD chips (turning pink or green) over time? Did they address the contamination of the optical path with particles?

I hope the answer is yes, but Home Theater never alluded to any of those documents. If they didn't address the issues that raised lawsuits in the past, why would Home Theater give a glowing review to something that has a much higher failure rate than a more conventional technology?

I purchased my SXRD set, in part, because of Home Theater's glowing review. The technology was brand new then, so it was a bit of a gamble -- and it didn't pay off. Now that there is a history of the SXRD technology weaknesses, Home Theater should have mentioned any of Sony's attempts to improve SXRD. Without even referencing the challenges that Sony previously had, the review is, at best, uniformed, and at worst, a shill for Sony. I'm hoping it is merely uniformed...

Kris Deering's picture
Hello Ducksoup, The problem you're referring to is in relation to the Sony SXRD rear-projection televisions. This problem has never manifested with SXRD projectors that I'm aware of and I've never read anything to the contrary. I imagine this has to do with the light engine used in the RPTV configuration since it never was an issue with the projection designs.
Ducksoup_SD's picture

Sorry for the delay, but a family emergency has kept me from this...

I was hoping that someone in the press, i.e. Home Theater, wouldn't wait for problems to develop before reporting them to the public. I was hoping that someone in the press would ask Sony,"The SXRD technology was less than perfect in your rear-projection TVs, as demonstrated by the multiple class-action suits. How have you improved the technology to eliminate those problems in this family of projectors?" If it's truly "never manifested with SXRD projectors", then ask, "What is different on the projectors that eliminates the chip color changing issue that was documented in the projection TVs?"

I'm surprised that Sony didn't address that issue in their product release documents. After all, why would anyone purchase a projector that uses the same projection chips that turn green or pink in the TVs -- after several months of use, not just a few hours of a review process -- if it wasn't fixed? I would have expected Sony to be proactive and happily tell how they've now learned from the old chips and improved everything about SXRD.

Maybe most readers are too young to remember that Ford sold the Pinto with a known defect because they figured it was cheaper to settle the lawsuits that would occur than to recall the car. Has Sony decided to go this way to help recoup their SXRD investment? Just keep pumping SXRD units out until they maximize the return, regardless of their customers hard-earned $$$?

Those are the things that I'd hoped to see in Home Theater, or, maybe have HT anonymously send over a file to Consumer Reports so they could follow up on this. I guess that's just too much to hope for when you're talking about a big potential advertiser and a small mag.

Dr. Smoke's picture

smell a rat.
I have a HW10 SXRD projector and it is phenomenal.
We use it for everything from skylanders to movies to NASCAR.
The color is better than I have seen in any other projector.
I am no expert but beleive it is to do with the SXRD. It's the reds that really show.
Either way can't beleive I am taking the time to post on here but I bet you will not find one Sony projector owner that would tell you he will not buy another Sony.
I have had 3 people upgrade to this machine after seeing mine.
The only complaint if any is we have been through 4 bulbs in 3 years but we put a lot of hours on it.
Ther will be a Sony 4k SXRD projector in my future once the ps4 comes out.
Hope they come down in price by then because I am officially pot committed and would not consider any other brand after how good this machine is.